Among the three of the largest types of meat direction is the breed of Charolais cows. These are unique animals with excellent characteristics. To keep them is not very easy, but they are more than worth the money spent on them and the effort. The following article provides a general description of the species, characteristics and characteristics of the content of these magnificent animals.
How did the Charolais breed appear
The very name of the breed speaks of the French roots of the animal. Charolais was bred in 1773 in the Charolais region (France), which borders Switzerland. The species was obtained when crossing the Mountain breed with the Simmental. In the XIX century, to improve the rate of precocity, the Sharolese individuals of the time were crossed with the Shorthorn breed, and as a result a modern look was obtained.
Appearance of Charolais cowsInteresting! Charolais breeding bulls, like cows, are highly valued and subject to rigorous selection on natural grounds. In France, their cultivation is strictly regulated by the state.
At the end of the XIX century, the breed was improved exclusively by purebred selection. Breeders tried to meet the demand for lean meat as much as possible, so these animals have almost no fat layers in their meat. Due to the low percentage of fat in the body, they are bred mainly in greenhouse conditions (warm or hot climate, well-equipped stalls, vitamin feed).
As a separate breed, Charolais was registered in 1855, and a tribal book was created in 1864. Today, the Charolais cow breed is bred mainly in Europe, North and South America, and some regions of Asia. Only in France there are more than 2 million individuals of this breed! In Ukraine, they are used to improve the qualities of other breeds. Often they can be found on large farms. In Russia, this breed appeared in the XX century and has about 1000 heads.
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Representatives of the Charolais breed differ primarily in their external data.
- The bulls have an impressive body. The average weight is 1000-1600 kg, the maximum is 2000 kg. Height at withers to 165 cm. The body is rectangular, elongated (220 cm long). The chest is wide. Muscles are expressed very well, especially in the hips and chest. The head is small, there are horns. The fatty layer is thin.
The bulls have an impressive body. The average weight - 1000-1600 kg, maximum - 2000 kg
- Cows weigh 700-800 kg on average. They have a wide back, the croup is elongated, but slightly smaller than that of a bull. Udder cup-shaped. The head is small with small horns. The back is even but soft with forked shoulder blades. Muscles are also well distinguished, but in comparison with bulls, females are less muscular.
- Calves weigh 30–65 kg at birth, reach 280–350 kg at 8 months, and 450–650 g at 1.5 years, depending on the sex of the animal. Small individuals resemble calves of other breeds. They still have weak muscles, but the fat layer is small, despite the rapid growth. The reason for the low percentage of fat is that all the energy from food goes into a set of muscle mass.
The skin of these animals is elastic, gathered around the neck. The color is milky cream, while females are usually lighter than males. In calves, the wool is always wavy, thick and very light, uniform.
Characteristics of Charolais cows
The breed of Charolais cows belongs to the meat industry. It is for the sake of quality meat that farmers breed around the world. The following are the main characteristics of the species, its distinctive features.
- The meat of this breed is very tender, tasty, lean.
- Slaughter meat output 60-70%.
- The milk content of the cow is 1700–1900 kg. Record indicators - 2500 kg.
- Milk fat content up to 4.1%.
- Animals hardy, develop correctly. Intensive growth of calves lasts up to 2 years, and then the rate of development decreases.
- Calving is the negative side of the breed. During the birth, cows need professional help.
- Newborn calves can have hereditary diseases, such as heart failure.
- The productivity of animals persists for 15 years.
After birth, calves are left with mom for 8-9 months.
The character of the Charolais cow breed can be aggressive, especially in females caring for calves. In some cases, these massive animals can be dangerous to humans, so you need to be able to behave with them.
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The Charolais breed cows have a good heredity. Due to this, in terms of breeding and breeding offspring problems usually do not arise. All that a novice breeder needs is to buy a purebred cow and a bull, from which a new generation will come. Juveniles receive from their parents all the qualities inherent in the breed, and will be able to pass them on to their offspring in the future.Important! The safety of calves at birth is not more than 92%, and not more than 90% live to 6 months.
However, the main disadvantage of the breed is associated with the breeding of these animals, namely calving. A cow is able to carry a baby, especially if she is provided with full-fledged feeding and warmth, but with the hotel, everything is not so biased. Calves are born quite large and can reach a weight of 65 kg, so the female herself is difficult to handle. Only with the professional assistance of the vet childbirth pass without significant problems. Otherwise, the female or calf may suffer.
After birth, calves are left with mom for 8-9 months. That she should feed them. Unlike many other species, this breed should not be transferred to artificial feeding, because the calves may start to hurt. Supplement is allowed only if the female has little milk or for other reasons.
Rules of maintenance and care
Charolais cows are very hardy. They have fast acclimatization, but because of the thin fatty layer they are difficult to breed in cold regions. Rapid temperature changes and severe frosts can be detrimental to the breed.
- Stall for Charolais settles warm and spacious. Animals are not small, so they need a lot of space. For pregnant females and young animals need separate compartments, where they will be quiet, comfortable, calm.
- Charolais needs herding. This is necessary for quick weight gain. It is by consuming grass in the pasture, they actively grow and rarely get sick. But in the cold season, you can transfer them to stall feeding. In winter, the basis of the diet - concentrates and hay.
- Salt is very important for cows, they give it separately, by installing a lick-stone in the stall.
- Water should always be in drinkers. Charolais may be tired or thirsty from the heat, and if there is nothing to drink, the animal becomes restless - this is quite dangerous.
- In order to maintain normal health, timely vaccinations are required and veterinarian examinations are carried out. This is especially true for young animals and cows. Yes, and externally it is worth regularly inspecting animals in time to notice any abnormalities with the skin, muscles, eyes, teeth or hooves.
- Clean for Charolais is important. The stall is cleaned daily or even several times a day. The litter should be clean, dampness is completely excluded if you need to carry out heating and ventilation.
Experts also recommend that Charolais not cross with other species, because it can spoil the characteristics of the next generation.
Reviews of the breed of Charolais cows
Breeders are ambiguous about the breed of Charolais cows. The reason for this is the presence of positive and negative characteristics, which often overlap each other.
- Mikhail Levchenko: "Compared with simple Charolais cows, they are a royal animal. They are large, with character. 5 years ago I bought a couple of specimens abroad. They grew quickly, their productivity is really higher than that of simple meat breeds, but the cost of maintaining is large - this is necessary be ready".
- Elena Svetlavskaya: “A couple of years ago I went to France to visit relatives, they are breeding various animals, including cows. From there I brought two calves (a boy and a girl). I must say that they eat a lot, but in summer it is not so noticeable, because there are many they graze, they basically have enough of it. But in the winter there are not enough reserves! In the first year I didn’t expect this, because I didn’t have experience with the “elite” and it really hit the spot. Now I am saving for all that I can and the result is All that can be said about the breed - it pays for itself and gives b greater profits if you know how to grow it! ".
- Alexey Voronov: "Beautiful animals, despite their size. I wanted to start for a long time, but it was not possible, but I studied them in detail. Today there are 5 bulls and 6 Charolais cows on my farm. They are demanding to care and feed and can be aggressive, but this is the pride of my farm "And although the young did not cost cheap, I am confident that the profit will be much greater."
The breed of Charolais cows is a good option for breeding on medium and large farms. However, to obtain high-quality meat you need to be able to care for them. The willful nature and large size of animals can be a problem for a novice farmer, so for a start it is worth weighing the pros and cons. But, in general, the breed is beneficial in breeding and fully pays for its content.